chanphenglew (chanphenglew) wrote in little_details,

Searching for a Hmong folk tale

I've been racking my brains to try to remember a Hmong folk tale called "The Orphan Boy and the Dragon Princess." I've been working on a story about a Hmong man adapting to a certain situation in California, and I'm using some of the elements of this talk to weave into the story. Although I can find references when I google, they are buried in books of Hmong folk tales that one has to buy. This story is performed by the Hmong performance artist, Tou Ger Xiong and I saw it about 15 years ago. If anyone has seen Tou Ger Xiong perform this story, I would love to know if the following version is correct.

The story starts with the orphan boy trying to find safety, leaving his country behind which has been destroyed by war. He tries to cross the ocean to get to another land but he's too small and too poor to cross. This is where the story gets murky in my memory - a dragon promises to help him if the orphan boy will work for him. Orphan boy agrees and is taken to the bottom of the ocean. The dragon makes orphan boy promise not to ask to see the dragon's daughter. Later, a cat with a blue umbrella, helps the orphan boy and later admits that she is the dragon's daughter. They run off and get married.

A funny thing is that I've asked some of my Hmong friends here about this story. There are Hmong stories about dragons and about orphan boys, and even the two together. But my Hmong friends decided that this story was "rewritten" in the US which is why they don't know it. And no one can think of any story which involves a white cat with a blue umbrella.
Tags: vietnam: folklore

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